Boots No7 Perfectly Bronzed Dual Bronzer a.k.a. The Best Bronzer EVER!

Every so often you come across a beauty product that works so well that you can’t help but rave about it to your family, to your friends, even to random strangers who become lucky recipients of unwarranted beauty recommendations! For me, right now, that product is Boots No7 Perfectly Bronzed Dual Bronzer.

Boots Perfectly Bronzed
First off, the packaging is a sturdy bronze oval-shaped compact. What I love most is that it has a really generously sized mirror. Boots products tend to run with a minimalist design, that being said, while I normally would like to see more artistic license with the packaging the simple yet sleek design of the compact reminds me of summer in the Hampton’s (not that I’ve ever spent a summer in the Hampton’s – but you get my drift).

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This is the bronzer that I’ve dreamed of – but until recently hadn’t really found. I’ve used NARS Laguna and I’ve found that while this cult-hit bronzer was beautiful, it just didn’t show up well on my skin. I’ve also dabbed in matte bronzers, and bronzers with a enough glitter to make the lights of NYC dim in comparison. This one is perfectly buildable, with the right side of the bronzer being a matte deep tan bronze, and the left being a lighter version with a bit of subtle glitter. On minimum application, this has to be the most gorgeous natural looking bronzer I’ve ever used. Perk – not a lot of fallout, so you get the full value of the product!

I’ve also found that this bronzer works like a dream when you’re looking for a natural contour – and it’s also great if you’re new to contouring and are nervous about streaking. It really is so beautiful and can give you either natural glow and shading or, when layered up, can give you a bronzed out glam look.

The Boots No7 Perfectly Bronzed Dual Bronzer retails at about $12 and can be found online here, or at Duane Reade (if you’re in the city!), or Walgreens!

The Good Life VoxBox Review!

Not too long ago I was one of the lucky Influensters to receive a (complimentary for review purposes) Influenster The Good Life VoxBox. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Influenster and the VoxBox, click here for more deets (and let me know if you’d like an invite in the comments below), otherwise, here’s what I received in the Good Life themed VoxBox:

Good Life VoxBoxInside the Influenster Good Life VoxBox

New-Skin® Liquid Bandage (ARV $7.29) – I was super excited to received this – it’s like a liquid bandaid that dries and forms a protective cover that is flexible and waterproof! Unfortunately I haven’t been injured recently (not even a paper cut) so I haven’t been able to give it a proper try – but I’ll let you know when I do, I know I’m pass due for some sort of injury ;)

Nonni’s® THINaddictives ™ (ARV $3.99) – I like them, they’re decent cookies and they go great with coffee. Plus, they’re only 100 calories for 3 of them – which makes it a healthy snack. I’ll probably buy these myself when I get a chance.

the Vitamin Shoppe Garcinia Cambogia (ARV $16.99, 90 Capsules) – Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit native to Southeast Asia, India, and West Africa, and may support appetite control. I’m still in the testing process with these – you’re supposed to take 2 capsules 30 minutes before a meal.

ZonePerfect Greek Yogurt Bars (ARV $1.25 ea.) – My bar was their Greek Yogurt Vanilla Berry one and it was amazing! I love this bar! I’ve seen it a zillion times on store shelves and I was always curious about it, but never went ahead and bought it. But now that I know how good this one was, I’m definitely going to try the other varieties that they have. Have you tried ZonePerfect Bars? If you have, let me know which one you like best!

UrgentRx® Fast Powders™ (ARV $1.39) – You all already know how much I love my Urgent Rx, I buy mine all the time from Duane Reade. They’re amazing, and super convenient.

The Verdict: I love receiving VoxBox’s of any kind, but this box couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve recently been journeying into a more healthier lifestyle – and I feel like the ZonePerfect Bar and Nonni’s cookies and really everything that was included in the box have been great helpers for me. They’re products that make the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle that much more easier.

Hot in the City with Merlot Skin Care!

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It looks like face masks are once again having their day in the sun! I’m always on the lookout for the latest trend or must-have product, I was totally on the bandwagon when BB Creams hit the market, and now I’m really excited about face masks! More specifically clay or mud based masks. Clay and/or mud is known for drawing out excess dirt and oils – which is why they’re so popular at spa’s and have now made them a facial mask must. I’ve been trying out various brands, and while my oily skin is quite pleased with the results I have to say that well known brands (like Glam Glow) can get pretty pricey. However, I’ve recently found a perfect and more affordable alternative with Merlot’s Clay Facial Mask and Purifying Peel Off Mask!

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Merlot was kind enough to send me both masks for review, as well as their First Crush 3-in-1 Blemish Treatment. I decided to get the girls together for a girls night in, complete with snacks, a cheesy movie, and facials! This is what we thought of the masks:

Merlot Clay Mask
While Merlot’s Clay Mask is neither thick nor heavy and has a pleasant scent, it left my skin clean, oil-free, but not dried out. I really love it, I like how I didn’t have to time how long I kept it on my skin for fear of irritation – instead a couple of us kept them on for a while, and none of us experienced over-drying or irritation!

Merlot Purifying Mask
The Purifying Peel Off Mask was a favorite – it smelled really good and left everybody’s skin feeling super soft! Plus it didn’t irritate typical dry sensitive areas like around the nose and eyebrows.

First Crush Skin Care

We didn’t use the First Crush 3-in-1 Blemish Treatment at our girls night in because I’ve actually been testing it myself for two weeks. I wanted to use most of the bottle before I gave my opinion, and wanted to be able to evaluate the product independent of any other acne treatments. I recently went on vacation and while I was away from home my face completely broke out, when I got back home I immediately began using this as a part of my evening regimen. Since then my acne has really cleared up, and my skin is actually looking more even! So I’m definitely sold on this product – it doesn’t strip your skin and leave it feeling dry, but it’s like a gentle cleanse that leaves your skin feeling more fresh and firm.

Check out Merlot and read more about their history and how founder Wayne Beckley utilizes the power of grape seeds in Merlot’s products by clicking here!

Merlot has been kind enough to offer one lucky NYC Talon reader both the Merlot Clay Mask as well as the First Crush 3-in-1 Blemish Treatment! Enter below!

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My June Wanderlust Birchbox!

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I love this month’s Birchbox theme – Wanderlust. Ironically, I didn’t get the box until I had come back from traveling earlier this month. Still, all the products in the box were amazing and I can’t wait to try them all! Here’s what was inside:

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BirchBox + Color Club’s London Calling polish from their Wanderlust Collection. London Calling is a super pretty minty green – I would definitely consider it a “neon pastel”. Also, Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner and Davines Oi/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion sample packets.

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Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser – with lemongrass extract and natural sugar it really does smell super citrusy – it reminds me alot of fresh’s Brown Sugar Body Scrub.

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LAQA & Co. lip pencil – one half of the duo, I’m so surprised by how much I love this lip pencil. I usually do not wear bright colors, in fact for the most part I stick to sheer lip glosses. This color looked really nice with my new tan, I liked it so much that I wore it the the whole day after opening my box.

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Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo: this gentle shampoo is packed with moisturizing Indian fig extract and olive oil. My strands are in desperate need of some TLC after all that time spent out in the salt water and sun, so I can’t wait to give this one a try – and I love how generous this sample was!

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The Verdict: I loved this box, and have already purchased some treats from the Birchbox shop – I think it was well worth the $10, especially since I’ve never tried any of these products/brands before.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? What did you think of this months box? Have you tried any of the products featured in this months box? Let me know in the comments section below!

Beating the Heat with Cool Gear! #HotintheCity

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Every summer without fail my family makes a point of throwing a few barbecue’s – well, except for last summer. Last summer we were really busy and never managed to pull one together, so the second the weather began to heat up we made plans to go grillin’! Living in the city means having to go to a grill friendly park to get your barbecue on – so you have to be really selective about what you bring with you and how you carry it, because you’ll be traveling with it. Luckily for us I recently received Cool Gear’s new Collapsible Bento Box and Basic Lunch Tote Bag – which are really both lifesavers when it comes to transporting food!

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The Collapsible Bento Box in purple and the Basic Tote Lunch Bag in black

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The Bento Box in action :)

We used the Collapsible Bento Box to bring our pickles and our tomato cucumber salad. Seriously, the Bento Box is one of my favorite items of the summer – the bottom collapsible portion stretches out to hold quite a lot of food (salad, a meal, whatever you want!), the middle part holds the three smaller containers – but it’s also able to be frozen, which keeps both the items in the top and bottom sections cool. Love, love, love it! My sisters, brother, and parents all want one of their own now!

Cool Gear Lunch Tote

I used the Basic Lunch Tote Bag to tote the Bento Box – it’s super cute, and Cool Gear offers lot’s of styles. It’s very roomy and sturdy, and comes with a zip pocket on the outside. I stored some first aid items in the zip pocket and used the bag to store my camera in when I wasn’t using it so it wouldn’t overheat by sitting out in the sun.

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Water balloons & hot dogs? Yes please!

We ended up eating all the salad that we packed in the Bento Box, so we were able to collapse it – just slide the bottom portion onto itself, it’s great! Both the Bento Box and Tote Bag were excellent space savers and kept everything cool – even after five hours!

Check out Cool Gear, and their amazing products here! And don’t forget to check out the Collapsible Bento Box here, it retails for $12.99 and is worth every penny!

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Cleanse and Exfoliate: OXY Daily Defense Review & Giveaway! #HotintheCity

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I love the summer, and don’t get me wrong but while all the running around in the sun is fun, I have oily skin and my pores are more sensitive than ever. And I’m not the only one, when the heat hits all the gals in my household complain about oily skin. For me, oily skin equals acne – so to prevent it we use OXY.

I’m sure you’ve heard of OXY’s products before, I used OXY all through high school to keep dreaded acne at bay. Since then I use their products as a preventative measure – sharing them with Jule’s (my little sis) who get’s beauty and skincare advice from her older sister.

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We had a chance to test out OXY’s Daily Defense Exfoliating Body Scrub and their New OXY Daily Defense Sensitive Cleansing Pads. The body scrub has a sharp orange citrus scent – which really makes your skin feel fresh and awake. It’s clinically proven to treat and help prevent breakouts. It contains 1% of Salicyclic Acid, and personally has really helped with some minor backne (back acne) that I’ve been experiencing. Also, I used a cheap razor on my legs and after using the scrub the redness and irritation the razor had caused to my skin went away almost immediately – so that’s definitely a plus!

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I know a lot of acne products on the market tend to be really harsh and drying – enter OXY’s new Daily Defense Sensitive Cleansing Pads. Because they are formulated for sensitive skin, the pads do a great job of cleaning up oily, clogges pores. Jules and I are in love with these pads – they don’t leave our skin feeling tight after using them – instead they leave our skin feeling noticabley cleaner. My forehead tends to turn into an oil slick during the summer months – so this product is a lifesaver for me!

Do you have acne? Does your skin also get oily and especially sensitive during the hot summer months? Let me know! Meanwhile, OXY has decided to offer one lucky NYC Talon reader both of the OXY products that I got to try – the OXY’s Daily Defense Exfoliating Body Scrub and their New OXY Daily Defense Sensitive Cleansing Pads!

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The Most Magical of All Flash Drives!

Between BlogHer and Toy Fair I’ve collected tons of USB’s – for me, after I’ve gone through and made use of the information loaded on them, they’re more like souvenirs,  a reminder of brands and events that I’ve been to and loved. I collect them all in a drawer on my desk organizer and I recently received the most adorable, magical USB to add to my collection – a Twilight Sparkle Mimobot!

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When I was at Toy Fair, all every blogger could talk about was the Mimoco booth, having already been familiar with the brand (hello, where else can you get a flash drive that looks like R2D2?!) I was so excited to see what the brand had in store. While I did collect many many USB’s during the four whirlwind days of Toy Fair I didn’t manage to get my hands on one from Mimoco. Fast forward a couple months, and now I have an awesome My Little Pony USB of my own!

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Twilight Sparkle, glasses and awesome banner not included ;)

I’m addicted to the My Little Pony game, and have it on all the time on my tablet so naturally I was pretty excited about the USB. What’s really great about Mimobots flash drives is that they have “Digital Extras” stored on them, like in my case I had a selection of adorable My Little Pony icons, wallpapers, and avatars! Plus, not only does it stand out in my collection of memory storage options, but it also makes a great conversation starter on campus – everyone who sees Twilight Sparkle in all her 8GB glory has something to say (usually about how cute it is, and where I got her).

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Mimobot really has the coolest, and in this case, cutest, flash drives!

I’m definitely planning on getting my hands on some Star Trek and Star Wars Mimobots (yes, I belong to a family of nerds), as well as the rest of the My Little Pony series. Have you heard of Mimobot? Check out more Mimobot’s from Mimoco here! If you could have ANY Mimobot what would you choose?
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Soft Scrub 4-in-1 Review & Giveaway!

Life can get pretty stressful, between school, travel, and other demands of life things can get more than a little hectic. Simple things like having a clean house is one of the key things that helps me to de-stress and stay organized. Combine cleanliness with great scents – and you’ve got a winning combination. I usually keep candles around the house and burn them pretty regularly because they make the house smell good, like home, and helps me decompress. However there’s one room in the house that takes a little more TLC to maintain its cleanliness – you’ve probably guessed it – the bathroom. I’m already a massive fan of Soft Scrub so I was really really excited to test out their new 4-in-1 Toilet Care rim hanger!

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The 4-in-1 Toilet Care cleaner comes in two scents: Sapphire Waters, and Alpine Fresh – which is the one I received. What it does is it cleans your toilet, prevents future buildup, fights toilet ring, and freshens for up to four whole weeks! It does a great job keeping away that dastardly toilet bowl ring – which means less spots to clean, and less to stress about. Unlike other rim hangers Soft Scrub’s 4-in-1 Toilet Care doesn’t melt away after a few flushes, it actually lasts quite a while! And I love the product design too!

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I really liked the scent of the Alpine Fresh one, it smells fresh and clean, sort of like the original pine sol – but lighter. What’s really great is that not only does it last for a really long time, but it costs less than $2.00!!! That’s definitely a deal!

Does the Soft Scrub 4-in-1 Toilet Care rim hanger sound something that your home could use? Well, Soft Scrub is offering one lucky NYC Talon read not one but THREE coupons good for ANY Soft Scrub product! This giveaway starts today and ends on 4/15/13, so make sure you enter now! Here’s how:

1 Comment Per Entry:
1. Like Soft Scrub on Facebook
2. Let Soft Scrub know on their Facebook page that @The nyc talon sent you!
3. Like The NYC Talon on Facebook
4. Follow The NYC Talon on Twitter
5. Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post – like this one here!
6. Enter the Brighter Bowl Sweepstakes featuring NEW Soft Scrub® 4-in-1 Toilet Care Giveaway HERE! (easy entry, and totally worth it!)
7. Retweet THIS <—click here!

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Steve Novak Previews McDonald’s New Premium McWrap!

Last week I was lucky enough to join Steve Novak and McDonald’s as they previewed McDonald’s newest creation – the premium McWrap!

McDonald's First Taste Press Event

Lots of press at the 2nd floor’s First Taste event

At McDonald’s 14th Street location Thursday March 28th, press, New York Knick Steve Novak, musical talent, and locals gathered to celebrate the launch of the premium McWrap.

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The Premium McWrap is like the Snack Wrap’s older, bulkier brother. Filled with chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce, the Premium McWrap comes in Sweet Chili Chicken, Chicken & Bacon, or Chicken & Ranch.

  • Sweet Chili Chicken McWrap: sweet chili sauce, creamy garlic sauce, and sliced cucumbers
  • Chicken & Bacon McWrap: creamy garlic sauce, bacon, cheddar jack cheese, and tomato
  • Chicken & Ranch McWrap: ranch sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, cheddar jack cheese, sliced cucumbers, and tomato

New York Knick Forward Steve Novak seemed to be a big fan, he signed basketballs, took pictures, and even helped make his own McWrap!

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Steve Novak being interviewed by Bruce Beck

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Steve Novak and Denise of Boyz Rule Our World joking about her height – or lack thereof ;)

After answering questions and doing interviews, Steve joined the “Sweet Chili Chill Out Lounge” on the ground floor and helped judge a rap competition to fin NYC’s freshest MC – with a cash prize for the winner!

I tried out a grilled chicken and bacon McWrap – which was really flavorful and full of juicy chicken. I was really impressed with the size and packaging of the McWrap – it’s actually really convenient for on the go eating, and also mess free!

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Choose between crunchy or grilled chicken and pick up one of McDonald’s freshest creations – the McWrap!

LUSH in Union Square: 1 of 10 Stores to Carry LUSH’s Exclusive New Gorilla Perfume Line!

I was lucky enough one recent rainy Tuesday to spend my morning out of the rain and ensconced in the wonderfully fragrant LUSH store in Union Square. As it happens the Union Square LUSH is one of only ten stores nationwide to be hosting LUSH’s newest fragrance line Gorilla Perfume! LUSH sales reps Veronika and Ruben gave me a store tour, introducing me to new products and reacquainting me with old favorites.

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Gorilla Perfume was created in England by father and son team Mark and Simon Constantine. With creative inspiration the line features nine different scents – my favorite’s being Sun and Furze. What’s really crazy is that Sun was inspired by Mark’s trip to Cape May, New Jersey – where I spent many of my childhood summers! No wonder I loved it so much!

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I’ve always been a fan of LUSH’s seasonal selection, and they often sell out fast. I was able to get my hands on a few of LUSH’s Easter-themed products, and let me tell you they are amazing!

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Carrot bubble bar, Fluffy Egg bath bomb, Henata bath bomb, & Eggception bath bomb

I love love loved the Carrot bubble bar – it smells like lemon (not carrot) – and according to Veronika you can get a good 4-6 uses out of it. The enormously popular Fluffy Egg bath bomb smells like sweet cotton candy, it turned my bathwater pink and left my skin super soft and silky – definitely a favorite of mine now! Henata was really citrusy, and I loved the “surprise” bath bomb eggs inside! The scent reminded me of tangerines and summer time, it’s very bright and it definitely wakes you up. And the Eggception bath bomb had the cutest little surprise chick inside, I just about died when I cracked the egg open. So if you get a chance, swing by your local LUSH and definitely pick up one (or all!) of these treats!

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Ruben and Veronika introduced me to LUSH’s massage bars – which are now probably one of my favorite products ever, so thank you Ruben, Veronika, and Lush! I picked up the Heavanilli for my mom and promptly stole it back from her. It smells so good, and I just can’t get over how genius it was of LUSH to create solid massage oil & butter bars!

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During my visit I also picked up an old favorite – Aqua Mirablis body butter bar. Aqua Mirablis is the most amazing product for anyone with dry skin! Ground almond shells exfoliate and gently removes dead skin cells, while cocoa and almond butters lend some deep moisture to your skin. Plus it smells awesome!

Lush Union Square
I loved the setup at LUSH’s Union Square location, and Ruben and Veronika were amazingly helpful and provided lot’s of information – I can’t wait to go back and see what else LUSH has in store!

*I received product samples from LUSH, as well as a store tour in order to facilitate this post. Special thanks goes to LUSH and lovely LUSH reps Veronika and Ruben who took the time to show me around – thanks guys! All opinions stated here are my own and not influenced in any way, for more info please see my PR tab above.